In great battles – one thinks here of classic Napoleonic set pieces like Austerlitz, Borodino, or Waterloo – the key to victory are the reserves. You send in this division or that one, and the enemy counters. Then, when the enemy is matching you but overcommitted, you then strike decisively with your reserves and roll him up like a rug.
Most of the great captains of war have used this trick in one form or another (＃ReadaBook), and the same more or less holds true for politics. The candidate who wins will be the one able to bring forces onto the field that his opponent had not been expecting.
This, perhaps more than anything, is the main strength of Donald Trump. He can match his opponents on most events and issues without stretching himself too much, but, when he needs to, he can always pull a little something extra out of the hat.
The fracas over Trump’s recent comments about the possibility of a temporary suspension of non-citizen Muslims entering the United States (a rather mild and tame idea in the circumstances) demonstrates this.
When President Carter last did something similar back in the 1970s, it wasn’t even done to protect American lives but just to punish Iran, whereas now Muslim migration, as demonstrated by numerous examples, is inextricably tied up with people dying from jihadist attacks.
After Trump made his statement, the enemy – in this case his cuckish rivals in the Republican Party, the mass media, and the Left – launched what looked like a withering blast of criticism, even rolling their biggest cannons, the ones that can shoot Hitler comparisons day and night, all the way down the hill to blast away at Trump’s frontline from a close distance.
The only problem was that they were wildly overreacting and effectively spending all their force on what was just a skirmish line by Trump. After they had used up their ammunition, winded their horses, and got their ranks in a terrible muddle, Trump’s reserve battalions rolled down on them, as one opinion poll after another revealed that most Republicans and even most Americans were in complete agreement with Trump’s implicitly Islamophobic but nonetheless mild and reasonable statement.
This was not so much a tribute to Trump’s genius as a condemnation of the stupidity of his opponents, who, like extremely bad generals, seemed to have something of a blind spot when it comes to Trump’s forces. The old adage about fighting a new war with the tactics of the last war seemed rather apt.
But why are these opponents – people like Jeb Bush, Fox News, those on the Democrat side, and the occasional exotic like that Saudi Prince – miscalculating the depths of Trump’s reserves? The reason is simple. It is because Trump is bringing onto the field forces that were supposedly killed or disbanded long ago.
In the great push for the “middle ground” and the various ethnic groups that has characterized the last three or four decades, a large portion of the electorate has been left behind. This can be referred to as the Great White majority.
Jeb Bush has rightly been called a “low energy guy” by Trump, but the reason that insult hurts and then comes back and hurts some more is because much of the electorate, especially that part of it that the Republicans should have been relying on to dominate American politics, has been de-energised by a slate of candidates that offers them nothing but growing degradation, impoverishment, and marginalization.
The White working class, remember them? The White lower middle class, remember them too? These are the two groups that have been most overlooked in recent years. Count them as one – the Great Disenfranchised. As both parties continued to take their votes for granted so they continued to lose interest in those parties, but with no other options. Trump, whatever he ultimately turns out to be, has changed all that.
A recent Wall Street Journal article revealed that “Fifty-five percent of [Trump’s] supporters are white working class, compared with 35% for the rest of the Republican field and only 32% for Mr. Carson.”
One suspects that there are also a great number of reluctant White working class Democrat voters who would also leap at the chance of voting for Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee, especially if, as expected, Hillary Clinton is selected.
But how can we really get a grip on what is going on? Marxism helps. In Marxist theory there is the concept of the “Reserve Army of Labor,” which, in essence, means that the power of the ruling class is strengthened when there is a surplus of unemployed and underemployed. In a political sense, labour is unable to organize and make demands, as it can readily be undercut by “scab” labor. This is also said to be one of the reasons capital constantly favors mass immigration.
Of course things are more complex than they were in Marx’s day. Technology is a factor, as well as the public-private economy created by Keynsianism with its need for social dysfunction and client groups, but the idea – in its essentials – still largely holds up, and is why capital still favours mass immigration.
The really interesting point, however, is that in order to create this kind of economic effect in a society that is technically democratic, you have to effectively disenfranchise a large part of the electorate in some way. Because, after all, why would an electorate actively vote for something so detrimental to their interests?
The way this is done, of course, is through employing passive power, through using a corrupt two-party system beholden to a donor and media class, who are of course intimately connected, and who routinely choose candidates that normal White American voters just find “samey” and uninspiring – Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Al Gore, the Bushes, the Clintons, etc. While Obama was, at least for ethnics and SWPL moral signallers, an exciting candidate, for normal Whites he offered almost nothing and has delivered even less.
The key to this unholy system is that the surplus labour power of the economic underclass (the unemployed, the illegal immigrants, those in phony affirmative action jobs, etc.) is balanced by the surplus electoral power of the disemployed political underclass, namely White majority voters turned off or confused by the system into voting for trivialities. This is the true way to interpret the switch, since the 1960s, of former Democrat-voting Whites to a Republican Party that does nothing for their basic interests.
This political underclass is supposed to lie quiescent and be forgotten as the tyranny of global America goes about its dark work. These are the political dead who are not supposed to stir.
But just as the reserve army of labour can be called into active production when necessary, as in a wartime situation or boom, so the reserve army of politics can also be mobilized – but only if the right maverick politician comes along, someone like Trump.
When dead armies rise to renew the fight, as they have been doing in every Trump stump meeting and opinion poll for months now, them the enemy may find themselves baffled by the sudden appearance of unexpected reserves on his flank. The Napoleonic wars were never quite as exciting as this.